Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have begun the investigation of a Venezuelan and four Nigerians arrested by the Navy for suspected illegal oil bunkering activities.
The EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Tuesday, said the Venezuelan: Roderick Rivero and Nigerians: Oluwole Olaitan, Emmanuel Emeka Okeke, Olota Albert and Richard Asubi were arrested on June 20 by officers of the Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Victory, in Calabar, Cross River State.
The statement added that the suspects were intercepted onboard a vessel, MV Edidiong AJ, loaded with unspecified quantity of petroleum products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, AGO.
The suspects were handed over to the Uyo Command of the EFCC on Monday, August 1, 2022 for further investigation and possible prosecution.
Lieutenant Commodore C. I. Ayogu, the Naval Hand-over Officer, while handing over the suspects to the EFCC, condemned the activities of oil thieves in the zone.
He stressed that, “the fight against crude oil theft is not for the Navy alone, but a fight for the generality of Nigerians, and I urge everyone to be on alert. The five crew members flying a Comoros flag were arrested by my men while they were on patrol,” he said.
Receiving the arrested suspects and the accompanying exhibits, Assistant Superintendent of the EFCC, Inainfe Young thanked the Navy for its synergy and trust in the EFCC.
“Be rest assured that the Commission will make sure thorough investigation is carried out and if the suspects are found culpable, they will be charged to court and prosecuted diligently,” he said.